Introducing the 2011 Chili Con Crosso

Whether it is a cyclocross event in Portland, Providence, Louisville, Minneapolis, or Cross Vegas you are likely to see the Chili Con Crosso in action. It has developed a strong reputation among cyclocross athletes for its performance, ride quality, geometry, weight, and price.   We love cross because the bikes are so versatile and capable. For many people, if they could only own one bike, it would be a cross bike. Today it is my pleasure to share the full details of the new Chili Con Crosso.

The goal with the new Chili was to add performance and features while maintaining the same proven ride geometry.  In the wet and muddy elements of cyclocross, fork chatter is a perennial challenge to reduce and overcome.  There are many differing opinions on the best approach to reduce fork chatter, including brake pad and front brake cable positioning.  Regardless, one thing is certain: larger steerer tubes produce less flex and thereby help reduce the fore-aft movement between the brake bosses and the cable housing stop. Together, this reduces brake chatter. The new Chili Con Crosso is spec'd with a 1-1/2" tapered headtube and matching Salsa full carbon fork to help reduce fork chatter. 

The full carbon steerer tube tapers from 1-1/8" to 1-1/2" where it meets the large crown. While the crown is extra bulky to increase stiffness between the brake posts and steerer, you can see that there is still plenty of tire clearance when fitted with a 35mm tire as pictured. The fork was stiff, stable and silent when I test rode it with the Avid Shorty 4 brakes and steerer-mounted cable stop as spec'd on the complete bike.  For those who wish to take reducing fork chatter one step further, the crown has a drilling where a custom-fitted cable stop could be mounted.  The headtube takes a standard I.S. oversized headset.  Both the complete bike and frameset come with a Cane Creek IS-3 headset featuring a blue anodized top cap to match the graphics package of the frame. 

Speaking of anodized parts, the complete bike comes chock-full of blue bits.  The Lip-Lock seat collar, hubs, skewers, Paul Components Chain Keeper, headset and Salsa top cap are anodized blue.  There is just enough ano to impress, but not so much that looking at the complete bike will send you into a dizzying out-of-body experience like what nearly happened when I first saw these things:

No, it's not Pac-Man playing chicken with Ms. Pac-Man, or looking at himself in the mirror. These are bolt-on dropouts that allow the option of running your new Chili Con Crosso as a singlespeed.  While there are quite a few SS capable cross frames, there are not many high performance options.  

The complete bike comes with a 1x10 SRAM Rival drivetrain and bolt-on vertical dropouts with the same hole drilling.  They are held in place by T30 chainring bolts.  Remove the bolts, slide the horizontal dropout in place, fasten the bolts down and you instantly have yourself a singlespeed-capable cyclocross frameset! Here is a close-up photo I took of Salsa engineer, Sean Mailen, riding on the Minnesota state championship CX course. You can see the vertical dropout held in place with chainring bolts on the non-drive side. 

Also notice that the classic flattened seatstays and chainstays carry over to the new frame.  These stays provide lateral stiffness while helping take the edge off, especially when riding on bumpy, firm surfaces such as gravel or pavement.  

Another carry-over feature from the previous design is the flattened section of the toptube. However, the length of the flattened section on the new Chili is significantly longer to accommodate a wider range of shouldering styles that affect precisely where the toptube rests on the rider. These refinements make run-ups and staircases much less painful than traditional tubes. 

Here's a side profile of the toptube to more clearly illustrate how the underside of the toptube curves. That little feature makes the bike fit perfectly on your shoulder.   

This year we started working with a new aluminum supplier and were able bring more value by using EV6 (high grade 6000-series) aluminum instead of scandium.  The new material has nearly identical strength properties as scandium.  Additionally, we are able to now use a mixture of different tube-shaping techniques, including hydroforming, to get the exact shape and ride quality we desire.  Ride geometry is the same as previous versions, with some small differences to account for other changes such as the internal headset (headtubes are slightly longer).  The well-balanced and stable geometry provides a confidence inspiring ride quality suitable for elite cyclocross athletes.  


The new Chili Con Crosso will be offered in 6 sizes: 51, 53, 55, 56, 58, 60cm. Please see the Geometry Chart on the Chili Con Crosso page of our website

The complete bike will come with a 1x10 SRAM Rival drivetrain, DT Swiss R450 rims, FSA Gossamer crankset w/42T Salsa ring, and Salsa bar/stem/seatpost. See complete spec on the Chili Con Crosso page of our website

Frame weight: 1520 grams (55cm)

Fork weight: 500 grams (uncut)

Availability: mid-October for bikes and framesets

MSRP: $1649 (complete bike), $799 (frame/fork/headset)

Singlespeed or geared: It can do both. You make the choice (both vertical and singlespeed dropouts included with complete bike and frameset)

While the timing of delivery is later than the first cyclocross events of the season, they will still be available in time to hit your local sandpit before the season ends!  Contact your local dealer to pre-order yours today. Bring on the cow bells!

This post filed under topics: New Product

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David Gabrys

David Gabrys

I'm a guy who loves bicycles, traveling and music. Last year I got a bicycle specifically for traveling and went to the French Alps with it. I couldn't get my face to quit smiling for the entire week I was there! My preferred method of exploring the world is on two wheels.


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Aaron | August 31st, 2010

How am I going to explain this to the wife?

MG | August 31st, 2010

... tell her “at least I’m not asking for a La Cruz Ti.” 

That should work.

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Doug | August 31st, 2010

Wow….nice job guys!

MG | August 31st, 2010

BTW… Incredible work on the “next generation” of the Chili Con Crosso, guys.  It really takes it up a notch.  Thanks for keeping the pedal to the metal.


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captain bob | August 31st, 2010

Oh my!  That’s pretty!

Ben | August 31st, 2010

Seriously nice bike guys. I love the complete spec!  The Paul chain keeper is a seriously nice addition.

Guitar Ted | August 31st, 2010

Brilliant! A SS option too. I bet gravel grinders will also be all over this bike. Great job guys.

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Frag Spawn | August 31st, 2010

do we get a frame split from the detachable dropouts? For those carbon drive fanatics?


David | August 31st, 2010

Frag, this is a good question that I’m sure will come up frequently.  The frame is not split at the dropout for carbon drive compatibility.

Thanks for the question!
David Gabrys

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Doug | August 31st, 2010

hacksaw and duct tape maybe?

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Andrew | August 31st, 2010

Is this the beginning of the end of Salsa’s scandium frames?

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Dan | August 31st, 2010

Very nice. Is the steerer tube still 300mm?  Any spacer restrictions on the fork?

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Wally | August 31st, 2010

David, this one is for you! I don’t compete, except against my body and the terrain I ride on. I love dirt, grass, mud, gravel…I’m one of those guys that love cross bikes because they are so capable and versatile. I would probably own a cross bike if the Gods decried I could only have one bike.
This one wouldn’t be it. I love some of the design elements but there just isn’t enough there.

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Dave | September 1st, 2010

Looks nice. Bummer that the frame is a lot heavier than the scandium model of the last several years…advertised at 2.95 lbs (1340 grams) compared to 1520 grams for the new 2011. Also, too bad it won’t be available until at least mid October. It helps to be able to ride a bike for at least a couple of weeks before racing on it. Maybe for next year!

Ben | September 1st, 2010

I’d be willing to bet that a significant amount of the additional frame weight comes from the now much larger, certainly heavier head tube rather than the frame tubing itself.  When you figure into the picture the integrated headset cups, and the additional mass due to the increased outer diameter, I bet it’s pretty close to last years weight.  I would be willing to give up that small amount of frame weight for more stiffness and less brake shutter in that area.  The mounting plates for the rear dropouts may well be heavier than last years to accompany the interchangeable dropouts.  As I would likely run this bike single speed, the weight there is okay by me as well.  These are just educated guesses, but I bet they are pretty close to on.

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db | September 1st, 2010

The complete is exactly what I’ve been looking for, and at a great price!  But no eyelets for full fenders? So close to the race/commuter bike of my dreams.  I know, the LaCruz has all that, but the Chili is just more appropriate for me.

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CG | September 1st, 2010

I like this, when will these be available for purchase?

Also, are there any plans to use the dropouts on any other of your cross bikes?

MG | September 1st, 2010

Ben, I suspect you’re right on with your assessment of the weight situation.  I imagine it’d be tough to be disappointed once you got one of the framesets into your hands (or out onto the course, as it were).

db, I worked around the “fender issue” with my (older generation) chili con crosso for several years, before finally buying a Vaya to run fenders on and simply having my Chili (now a La Cruz Ti) for my dedicated ‘cross/gravel racing bike.  I know, I know… it’s excess, but I had to do it.  The Vaya is a better commuter bike, and you’ll love the CCC way more without fenders—trust me.  It’d be like putting all season tires on a Ferrari!

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jorge | September 1st, 2010

?Muy bonita! Could you please provide some additional color on “Salsa carbon fork”, and how it compares to the Alpha Q fork on the prior model? Thanks.

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kide | September 3rd, 2010

The new CCC looks phenomenal but the weight issue bothers me. Is it really close to 200 grams heftier? The old one could be classified as lightweight but the new one seems to be quite mediocre in this respect. Aluminum framesets with similar weight can be had for much less money and it is no longer lighter than Ti.

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Chris | September 4th, 2010

Hmmm…  I gotta say it looks like Salsa has given up on a race-specific cross frame with this one…  and I still can’t get over those early 90’s graphics… 

Sorry guys, but I think you missed the mark with this one if you were trying to have a cross race machine… this one looks too much like a “gravel” bike…

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Erik | October 27th, 2010

very cool bike…and a true size 60 for us tall guys. What kind of lever is speced on the left?

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crunchyfrogdesign | December 19th, 2010

ss option… it!

Doug | December 25th, 2010

I love my new 2011 Chili Con Crosso it just replaced my every day rider not the plan when I bought the bike. I was only going to use it for cross. Great Bike If you have not got one Get One!! It is one of the best ridding bikes I own.  Its soft and fussy when it needs to be but It is angry and aggressive when you race when it counts.

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kurtz | February 14th, 2011

any more reviews from recent 2011 CCC owners?

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Pete G. | March 30th, 2011

bottom bracket cable guide seems to be spec’d as an after thought or a design abortion. mounted off-center so right cable descends to bottom bracket at radically different angle than left side- looks like crap. well I’ll find a better cable guide with two mounting drillings at my cost.. way to go on an $800 frameset people.

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Pete G | July 23rd, 2011

well yeah all that. The boys offered to send a new frameset, had to tell them it rode too good to return it for a cosmetic blunder. Crisp and active fork blades, stiff crown for a 200# cat on a 60cm. Antigravity chain/seatstays, oooh-aaah!

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